According to ABC News on Friday, Mary Kay Letourneau and her husband, Vili Fualaau, were interviewed by Barbara Walters in a two-hour special on “20/20.” It was a very public scandal in 1997 when the teacher-student sex scandal was talked about around the world. The couple wanted to have an exclusive interview on their own terms in honor of their tenth wedding anniversary.
Mary Kay was a 34-year-old married woman with four children when she taught 12-year-old Vili in the sixth grade. During the interview, Vili said he began having feelings for Mary Kay when he was in the second grade. He said he thought she was a princess. Today, Mary Kay is 53, and Vili is 31. Their teenage daughters are older than Vili was when his affair started.
People magazine reported that the relationship started with Letourneau helping Fualaau with his drawing when he was in middle school. They bonded during the school year, and by the summer their relationship had turned sexual. By the end of the summer, Mary Kay was pregnant with Vili’s child. The authorities were alerted after Mary Kay’s husband found a letter she had written to Vili.
Three months after giving birth to their first daughter, Mary Kay pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree child rape. On Friday, Nov. 14, 1997, Mary Kay was sentenced to 89 months in prison. She was paroled after serving six months on the condition that she stay away from Vili and attend counseling sessions for sex offenders. She disobeyed the court order, and her sentence was reinstated. She gave birth to Vili’s second daughter while in prison. Her husband filed for a divorce, and he and his four children moved to Alaska.
Vili was forbidden to visit or to talk Mary while she was in prison for seven and a half years. He waited for her, and ten months after her release, they married in a lavish ceremony at a winery in Washington state. At the time Vili was 21 years old and Mary Kay was 43.
According to the Us Weekly, Mary and Vili have stayed in the same Seattle community where Mary Kay had lived with her first husband and taught school. Their two daughters, Audrey, 17, and Georgia, 16, attend school in the same district where Mary Kay taught. The four children from her previous marriage have remained part of their family. Vili is only a year and a half older than Mary Kay’s oldest son.
Mary Kay and Vili seemed so much in love during the interview. Mary Kay is working as a legal assistant but hopes she can return to teaching. She is also trying to get her name removed from the sex registry.